Wednesday

29th Jan 2020

Opinion

Eastern Partnership must now improve media freedoms

The EU can hardly criticise Eastern Partnership countries for disrespecting media freedom. Five EU member states, including current presidency Croatia, came below Armenia and Georgia in the 2019 RSF Press Freedom Index. Bulgaria ranked nine places behind Ukraine.

News in Brief

  1. EU commission presents 43 new proposals
  2. EU asylum agency to expand operations in Greece
  3. EU set to repatriate citizens from coronavirus-hit Wahun
  4. German Left MEP resigns over former far-right membership
  5. Sassoli defends 'renewed approach' for enlargement
  6. UK approves limited role for Huawei in 5G network
  7. Cases of coronavirus in France and Germany
  8. Report: EU court seeks authority on post-Brexit deal

Opinion

EU report recognises Albania's achievements

Albania currently faces a serious crisis, which it would be foolish for all actors in the international community to ignore. Yet we must ask that our partners in Europe read Federica Mogherini's report carefully and recognise accomplishments.

Juncker: 'Historic mistake' against Balkan EU hopefuls

The president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker described a decision to block Albania and North Macedonia from advancing into the next phase to eventually join the European Union as a historic mistake.

Opinion

To play big, Europe needs to get bigger

Enlargement has always propelled the EU's growth. On the contrary, every time the European Union closes its doors to potential new members, it chooses a path of decline, warns Ukraine's deputy PM, Dmytro Kuleba.

Interview

Kosovo PM attacks 'mono-ethnic' EU justice

Letting Serb war crime suspects go free while pursuing Kosovar ones only is bad for Western Balkans reconciliation, Kosovo's outgoing prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, has said.

Opinion

Does EU have role in stopping backsliding in Georgia?

The EU's eastern neighbourhood is in flux. The collapse of the pro-reform government in Moldova and the stagnation of anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine was recently followed yet by another political crisis in Georgia.

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Opinion

Macron's Balkan cordon sanitaire will backfire on EU

Paris is, by default, now steering the EU's overall policy agenda toward the Western Balkans. This seems to be the opening volley and test bed for Macron's goal of recalibrating the entire EU agenda.

EPP wants to re-open accession talks with Balkans

An emergency resolution adopted at the European People's Party (EPP) congress in Zagreb calls on the EU Council and member states to take a positive decision on opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible.

Finland: EU 'not brain dead' on enlargement

EU countries have given a mixed reaction to French proposals on enlargement reform, but ongoing talks did not mean the process had stalled, Finland said.

Exclusive

France unveils new model EU enlargement

Western Balkan countries should become EU members via a new, step-by-step process, France has said in a detailed proposal seen by EUobserver.

Opinion

Corruption in the Balkans: the elephant in the room

Over the years, both real and perceived levels of corruption in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia have remained high. The necessary reforms in those countries, to put it mildly, are not yet effectively carried out.

Opinion

Cleaning up both the EU and Western Balkans

There has been little substantial analysis, since the Macron veto, of why so much money and effort in the Balkans has failed to result in the political and economic transformation needed to prepare candidates for full membership.

EU enlargement freeze prompts Serbia rethink

The president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, said the Balkan region needs to take care of itself after the EU blocked enlargement talks with North Macedonia and Albania.

EU commission backs Croatia's Schengen bid

Croatia is eligible to join the EU's free-travel area, the Schengen zone, the European Commission has said, but threats of national vetoes remain.

EU fails to deliver on Albania and North Macedonia

Denmark, France and the Netherlands opposed opening talks on EU accession with Albania and North Macedonia in a blow that may invite greater Russian influence in the Balkan region.

Macron warned on danger of Balkans veto

France's veto on North Macedonia enlargement will endanger the Serbia-Kosovo peace process, a senior EU official has warned, but diplomats do not expect Macron to change his mind.

France keen to pause EU enlargement

France wants to pause EU enlargement pending major reforms, in what some fear could "destabilise" the Western Balkans.

Opinion

Threat to Unesco park mars Montenegro's EU bid

The site contains Europe's second largest natural pasture and hundreds of local families depend on it, but part of it has been slated to become a military training ground.

Central European leaders demand Balkan EU accession

Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia have demanded to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania this year, as Hungary's man prepares to take over the enlargement portfolio.

EU split on Western Balkans accession

Europe's credibility is at risk in the Western Balkans, half its member states have warned - but EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said Albania and North Macedonia unlikely to start accession talks soon.

Opinion

20 years on: Kosovo is still waiting

Kosovo's foreign minister reflects on two decades since his country was saved by Nato, in the first "war for values", and the task ahead to achieve lasting peace with Serbia, and with it, EU membership.

Opinion

Ukrainian election: a country struggling to reform itself

With a record of 44 candidates running for president, it remains to be seen who will become Ukraine's next leader. But will Ukrainian politicians and their international partners be able to keep the country on the road to reform?

Opinion

Eastern Europe Matters

The foreign ministers of Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic reflect on 10 years of the Eastern Partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Opinion

Why it's time for the Kosovo Security Force

The Kosovan deputy PM calls on Nato members to follow the US in supporting the enlargement of the Kosovo Securitiy Force. "Kosovo owes it to both its own people and the international community to take this step", Behgjet Pacolli says.

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